KP government empowers PDA to impose taxes, penalties

The provincial government has empowered Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) to impose taxes and penalties in its jurisdiction and take any step or adopt any measure to facelift and beautify the area within its authority. For this purpose, the provincial government has passed Peshawar Development Authority (PDA), Bill 2017 from the provincial assembly to bring the authority under the direct supervision of the Chief Minister to look after the affairs of the authority.

The purpose of the draft law is to provide a legal cover for the establishment of the authority; better management and development in order to improve the quality of life of people living within the authority area; establish an integrated metropolitan and regional development approach and continue a process of planning and development; ensure optimum utilization of resources, economical and effective utilization of land and to evolve policies and programs relating to improvement of the environment of housing, industrial development traffic, transportation, health, education, water supply, sewerage, drainage, solid waste disposal and related matters.

After the assent of the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the legislation, the provincial government will issue notification of the establishment of the authority, which will be a corporate body with head office at Peshawar and sub-offices within the authority area for managing its affairs.

The authority headed by Chief Minister and Minister for Local Government, Elections and Rural Development, KP as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively will also consist of a member of provincial assembly; Nazim, City District Govt; Secretary Planning & Development (P&D) Department; Secretary Finance Department; Secretary Local Govt, Elections and Rural Development Department; Secretary Forest, Environment and Wildlife Department; Commissioner, Peshawar Division and Director-General (DG) of the authority as members.

The authority will meet at such place and at such time and will observe such rules of procedure in regard to transaction of business at its meetings as may be prescribed by regulations. The meetings of the committee will be presided over by the chairman and in his absence the vice chairman will preside over the meetings of the authority. The meetings of the authority will be held as and when required, but once at least in a quarter, at the time and place as the chairman may determine.

The authority may co-opt members belonging to the relevant expertise in relation to any matter under consideration of the authority, who may take part in discussion, but shall not be entitled to vote for or against the matter under discussion.

The powers and functions of the authority will include initiating and maintaining a continuous process of comprehensive development planning for the authority area with the objective of preparing and implementing master plan; develop, operate and maintain water supply, sewerage, solid waste and drainage systems within the authority area; establish, maintain and periodically revise as necessary, planning controls and building regulations for the authority area to provide appropriate urban design and protect public safety; and ensure compliance with master plan after its preparation; take any step or adopt any measure for the face lifting and beautification of the authority area; acquire, sell, lease, exchange or otherwise dispose of both movable and immovable property or grant license or concessions in respect of any property vested in it; undertake any works and incur any expenditure; procure machinery, instruments or any other material required by it.

The authority will also enter into contracts or any arrangements, in accordance with the applicable laws for the time being to enforce, including but not limited to those for grant of a license to any person for carrying out the purpose of the Act; construct, maintain, upgrade and exclusively charge toll on roads, bridges, flyovers, underpasses or such other facilities within the authority area, grant concessions in respect thereof; recover taxes, rents and other money, within the authority areas, claimable by it as arrears or land revenue; maintain, develop and regulate public parks, green belts and green areas; establish and maintain botanical gardens; organize shows and exhibitions pertaining to horticulture, aviculture and cultural entertainment; protect trees and other vegetation; create awareness about horticulture and promote gardening; acquire land for the development of any public park, green belt or green area; grant a service contract for a maintenance of public parks, green belts or green areas to a company owned by it or any other private or public limited company; develop libraries in line with the modern day technology and designate authority areas for car parking and charge parking fee for the same in manner as may be prescribed.

The authority will collect fines and fees for the penalty it imposes or the services it provides, as the case may be; collect a user charge or a fee or payment in respect of services or facilities extended or made available by the authority to the public, including fee or charges on account of conservancy, maintenance of public parks, green belts and green areas or facilities within the authority areas.